Cumulus Partners

28. September 2014 17:17


Plan B: Instant Karma and Lesson Learned

28. September 2014 17:17 by mike barlow | 1 Comments

Yesterday, I sent emails to several friends and asked them to post comments about my Culture of Big Data white paper. What happened next is either a case of instant karma or a life lesson learned. Or both at the same time. At any rate, I began receiving emails from my friends. They had downloaded the paper, written comments and then discovered the comments function wasn't working. My initial response was to blame the publisher. I wrote myself a note to contact them today.

When I woke up this morning, I realized that I should have simply shifted to Plan B. If I had accepted responsibility immediately, instead of "blaming" the publisher, I probably would have come up with a workaround yesterday. Instead, it took me until this morning to realize that I could have simply asked my friends to leave their comments right here, on the good old Cumulus Partners web site.  

So, friends and loyal readers, if you can remember the cool stuff you wrote yesterday, please scroll down and leave your comments here. As the great philosopher Dorothy Gale once remarked, "There's no place like home." Thank you.

5. January 2014 07:38


Storytelling, content or IP? From a writer's perspective, they're all the same ...

5. January 2014 07:38 by mike barlow | 0 Comments

I remember when I first heard the word "content," I was happy because it suggested that people other than storytellers were taking storytelling seriously and that bean counters were consciously assigning economic value to stories.

That said, things spiraled out of control fairly quickly afterwards, and it wasn't long before the term became genuinely wearisome. But that's cool. Some clients still prefer to see the word "content" in a contract and wince when they hear me talk about "storytelling." I have a client who will only refer to content as "IP," which I find really irritating. As long as his checks don't bounce, I can live with it, no matter how silly. From a writer's perspective, words such as "storytelling," "content" and "IP" all pretty much translate into the same thing. And that's fine with me!

22. May 2012 03:18


If a tree falls in the forest ...

22. May 2012 03:18 by mike barlow | 0 Comments

I recommend reading John Stepper's excellent new post, "Your best use of social media may not require a single post." Although John's post is about regulated industries such as banking, it touches on an area that many social media professionals find ... touchy.

Here's the rub: Ask most social media pros how they judge the success of a post and they'll tell you by the number of comments that it generates. Many people consider comments to be a valid proxy for engagement and interest.

Personally, I don’t believe that comments are a valid proxy for engagement or interest. The content you post has intrinsic value whether lots of people or few people — or no people — reply. Not every piece of information you post has to inspire a dialogue to get the job done.

Seems to me like a variant on the old, “If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it fall, does it make a sound?” Yes, of course it makes a sound, and yes, when you post content on a social collaboration platform, that content has value — even if it does not result in a social conversation that can be tracked and quantified.

12. June 2011 07:36


Last week Hartford, this week Boston

12. June 2011 07:36 by mike barlow | 0 Comments

Had a wonderful time at the CT Business Expo in Hartford. Enjoyed chatting with lots of very nice people who seemed really interested in learning about social media. A big "thank you" to the excellent sound techs who loaned me a laptop for my afternoon workshop on "industrial strength" social media strategy. The room was hot and the audience was tired, but the PowerPoint slides kept them awake. Sometimes PowerPoint is a good thing, after all!

This Tuesday, David B. Thomas and I will be leading a panel at the MarketingProfs B2B Forum in Boston. Should be fun!

7. June 2011 05:45


Is this microphone on?

7. June 2011 05:45 by mike barlow | 1 Comments

Hey, it's great to be back in the saddle. For some reason, the network connection between GoDaddy and my ISP, Optimum Online, was glitching out somewhere, and as a result, I couldn't access my blog for a while. At any rate, here's the latest: On June 9, I'll be speaking at the CT Business Expo in Hartford. On June 14, I'll be speaking at the MarketingProfs B2B conference in Boston. It would be great to see you there!

30. April 2011 05:29


Please join us in Beantown for a conversation about B2B social media strategy

30. April 2011 05:29 by mike barlow | 0 Comments

Dave and I will be leading a workshop on B2B social media strategy at this excellent event in Boston next month! We look forward to chatting with you in person! And let's not forget beer! We look forward to having several beers with you!!!

4. March 2011 03:22


Kind words about our new Enterprise Social Media book

4. March 2011 03:22 by mike barlow | 0 Comments

The new book has earned some great reviews in the past two weeks. Here's a quick overview of recent commentary: Tom Webster in Social Media Explorer, Alison Bolen in Conversations and Connections, and Jennifer Leggio and Rich Harris in Social Business (a ZDNet blog). There are also six highly favorable reviews of the book posted on Amazon. It's always nice when people say nice things about a book you've written. I guess that's the real reason -- and maybe the only reason -- that we keep writing!

13. February 2011 06:20


OkCupid demystifies dating!

13. February 2011 06:20 by mike barlow | 0 Comments

Here's a great post by my old friend Mike Minelli that appears in GigaOM. Even if you're out of the dating game, it's still fascinating to read about how and why people choose dating partners, find romance, and all that good stuff! Happy Valentine's Day to all!

7. January 2011 22:40


The golden age of free social media

7. January 2011 22:40 by mike barlow | 2 Comments

Now reading The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires by Tim Wu, who makes a good case for the cyclical nature of communication markets. First you have invention, followed by anarchy, followed by increased control, followed by even more control, followed by monopolies, followed by new inventions that overturn the monopolies and launch the next cycle. I routinely tell my clients that now is the time to leverage the potential of social media -- not because social media has reached a perfect state, but because it's still virtually free. Give the network providers another couple of years and they'll figure out how to charge you for blogging. Now is the golden age of free social media -- make the most of it while it lasts.

3. December 2010 10:20


Starting up another new book project

3. December 2010 10:20 by mike barlow | 0 Comments

Well, we put the new curtains up in time for Thanksgiving, and now we're slowly rolling through the rest of the holiday season. Fortunately, I have an adequate supply of my favorite single-malt Scotch on hand, and I look forward to welcoming the new year in a genuinely mellow fashion.

As some of you already know, my new book with a very long title, "The Executive's Guide to Enterprise Social Media Strategy: How Social Networks Are Radically Transforming Your Business," is due out in January. If you find it readable, please buy a copy for a friend. If you find it excruciating, please don't tell me.

At any rate, I'm just beginning a new book project on cloud computing. I promise that it will have a shorter and catchier title. And my name won't be on it, because I'm ghosting it for a very nice client. If anyone out there wants to add his or her two cents to the book, please contact me at your earliest. I look forward to chatting with you!